National Day of No Writing

That’d be cool, no? No reason, really, but just to see what would happen if no emails were written, no letters composed. No blogs updated.

Among the reams of crappy promos and cds by unsigned bands that should stay unsigned (and not because major labels would mess them up; although labels are so fucked, signing might mean obscurity, soon enough, anyway) I sometimes luck into a gem. Rarely do any turn my expectations on their head, like Mucca Pazza, since I am not one who enjoys music made by the now-hip conglomerative-bands of 10 people or more, a la I’m From Fucking Barcelona or the Polyphonic Spree Candies or I’m Too Chickenshit to Tell My Friends They Can’t Be In My Band.

When I read “a little marching band” on Mucca Pazza’s cd, I almost cracked it over my knee and threw it out, but then my job, at the time, required a listen, and it’s one of the few things I now owe to that job. Since then, the band has risen further, in part via Conan O’Brien’s show, but, well, okay.

For one thing, on this cd, Mucca Pazza can and does often rock, not allowing the HS Band presence of brass/strings/woodwinds/percussion devolve into milquetoast pretension-pop like the above mentioned outfits, or Stuffyjahn Stevens. It also sounds like a true collaborative effort, again unlike the abovementioned, evoking nothing more than a lost WFMU (I think?) collection of shit-hot rock and soul covers by college and HS bands around the country.

Take Mucca Pazza’s cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Chick Habit.”

Or their cover of Egyptian wedding singer Ali Hassan Kuban’s “Habibi.” Note the nifty breakbeats. Kuban, like Fela, was transformed after hearing James Brown.

Mucca Pazza – Habibi

Bandleader Mark Messing’s originals don’t pale either, but seem to borrow heavily — “Nod to Magoo” sounds eerily like the theme to Lost in Space. Hope they can just cover that in the future.

So go buy it somewhere. They made it themselves.

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